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Penn State Holiday: How To Have A Stately Christmas

It’s that time of year again, folks. It’s time to dive into those books you probably haven’t touched since the third week of the semester and ace your finals, all while you’re juggling travel plans venturing to work in this State College weather. But before you head home, here’s your guide on how to create a Penn State Christmas for yourself and your family:

Before You Go Home

Just because finals are rolling in doesn’t mean you can’t start to enjoy your holiday. Before you begin studying, check out the Arboretum’s winter celebration on from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, December 11. Several Penn State a cappella ensembles, including the Pennharmonics and the Hi-Los, will be there to sing some seasonal favorites. Admission is free and there will be hot chocolate available at the pavilion.

Penn State’s Essence of Joy will also perform its annual holiday concert, “Our Gift in Song,” at St. Paul’s Methodist Church at 8 p.m. on Friday. St. Paul’s is located on College Ave., and student tickets are just $2.

If you’re looking for a way to give back before you go home, check out Music by Antonia’s The Give Back Music Festival, which will take place at Exscape smoke shop on Beaver Ave. on Saturday. DJay Antonia is a local MC who can be found spinning at places like Levels Nightclub, The Lion’s Den, and Miss Perceptions. Aside from all that fun, Music by Antonia will accept donations for “Toys for Tots.” The festival starts at 7 p.m. with free entry.


If you who want to grab some Penn State apparel for your whole family this Christmas, there are tons of locations downtown where you can shop for T-shirts, Christmas sweaters, hats, and more. If you can’t leave your room because you’re trapped under piles of textbooks, you can always shop online at the Nittany Outlet and get anywhere from 10 to 15 percent off your selections.

In addition to those “Penn State Dad” and “Penn State Mom” shirts, you might want to think about some more personal gifts for your parents and siblings. Moms always loves handmade gifts, and Etsy has the perfect Penn State wristlet for yours to rock at football games.

If John Donovan’s termination isn’t enough of a gift for your dad, you can buy him anything from a Nittany Lions grilling spatula to a Penn State wall-mounted bottle opener (or maybe save that one for yourself). The possibilities are virtually endless for your Penn State pops.

Your sister will love this Alex and Ani Penn State bangle that she can wear with nearly everything. Act fast and you can get free shipping on your purchase, too. Brothers are always hard to shop for, so keep it simple — a Joe Paterno cardboard cutout ought to do the trick.

There’s still one thing you need for the whole family: Grilled Stickies. If you don’t have time to grab some from The Diner on your way out, you’re in luck — they’re now sold at Wegmans.


Surely no one can top this Penn State light show, but there are plenty of ways to give your house that Happy Valley feel. Stop at Walmart and pick up these awesome stockings to stuff with goodies.

In addition to all of the Penn State ornaments you can find online, you can also find some more obscure decorations, like a Penn State elf and gingerbread house. Last but arguably most important, you can literally top it all off with a Penn State tree topper from the Family Clothesline.


The best part about the holidays is going home and being with family and friends, but a little extra Penn State spirit never hurt anybody. Have a Stately Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.


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